Andhra orders probe into lapses in transport of Tirupati gold

Andhra orders probe into lapses in transport of Tirupati gold

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government Sunday ordered an inquiry into alleged lapses in release and transportation of the gold belonging to Tirupati temple in the wake of seizure of 1,381 kg of gold by the Election Commission in Tamil Nadu four days ago.

Chief Secretary L.V. Subrahmanyam asked Special Chief Secretary, Revenue, Manmohan Singh to find out “the specific lapses, if any,” on the part of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Triumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the richest Hindu temple.

Singh was asked to rush to Tirupati, conduct an inquiry into the alleged lapses and submit a report with critical appreciation on or before April 23.

He was told to see if there were written instructions issued by the Executive Officer, TTD and what was the role of TTD’s Vigilance Wing. The officer will also report on what special care and monitoring the Vigilance Wing has to take, said an official release.

The transport of the gold from the PNB’s Chennai branch triggered a controversy as the bullion, along with the truck carrying it, was seized by the Election Commission officials in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur on April 17, a day before polling in that state.

The gold, said to be worth over Rs 400 crore, was being brought to the temple treasury in Tirupati.

The TTD initially denied that the gold seized in Tiruvallur belonged to it. The Election Commission later released the gold after the TTD produced relevant documents.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Andhra Pradesh unit alleged that the incident had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and demanded probe by the Union Finance Ministry.(IANS)

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